Group Claims Google Had 'Criminal Intent' In WiFi Data Collection
from the oh-come-on dept
Pickle Monger points us to the news that the group Privacy International is now claiming that Google had “criminal intent” in its accidental data collection from unencrypted WiFi access points. This is, frankly, ridiculous. It takes away pretty much all credibility from Privacy International. There are plenty of reasons why what Google did was bad, but “criminal intent”? That’s silly and there’s no evidence to support that at all. So far, the evidence shows that Google has pretty poor processes for managing projects like this, but to jump from that to criminal intent, without any facts is just fear mongering.
Google is going to end up getting in trouble around the globe for this. There’s little doubt of that. Google haters are using this opportunity to attack the company. But the more you actually look at what the company did, the less troubling it is. If someone really did have “criminal intent” to snarf data on open WiFi networks (and there certainly are some folks who do have such criminal intent) they would have done a hell of a lot more than they actually did. Driving around, collecting little snippets of information is about the worst way to get anything useful off of a WiFi network like that. Again, Google never should have done this, but attacking Google for this, without recognizing that there are actual criminals who do much worse on open WiFi networks all the time is pretty bizarre. It’s just an excuse to attack Google.